Culture and Dialogue Not War and Destruction Are the Syrians' Language

"Art is not only for entertainment, but for education as well. It is important for people of all ages and it is a natural method for children to express themselves," artist Hiyam Salman , Head of “ I Draw My Dream” Artistic Association in Lattakia province said in a statement to Syriatimes e-newspaper  on the sideline of  the 5th "I Draw My Dream" fine art festival which was recently opened at Dar Al-Assad for Culture in Lattakia province.

Mrs. Salman underscored that the festival reflected a cultural and artistic state which attracted different age categories from 3-33 years old of different social environments with the aim of deepening the love of art as a social and personal need.

 "Activities of the five-day festival included a painting and photography exhibition with the participation of 67 kids, adults and youths, as well as a handicrafts exhibition that includes drawing on glass, wood and porcelain” artist Salman said.

Aiming to teach children the concept of teamwork and interaction, four open workshops on free drawing were held for all the children in Lattakia as an outlet for children to freely express their feelings, troubles, dreams, interests and hopes, Mrs. Salman added, pointing out that lectures on different topics relating to enhancing children talents and skills and the role of the family in this regard were delivered.

According to Mrs. Salman, this year's festival is characterized by holding an interactive workshop on drawing renowned international artists like the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh as well as the Russian artist "Andre Ribushkin" in appreciation over Russia's support for Syria during the years of crisis and to shed light on the strong friendship and cooperation between Syria and Russia .

Talking about the children's paintings, she affirmed that the bright colors, used in their drawings in the interactive workshop reflected the children’s high sense of beauty, innocence, imagination, happiness, hope and optimism.

"Children are Syria’s future. They are the hope for building better Syria and for keeping Syria’s deep-rooted civilization and culture alive," she said.

Artist Salman concluded by stressing that culture and dialogue not war and destruction are the Syrians language.

On his part, Member of the Lattakia Baath Arab Socialist Party Branch Leadership, Mr. Emad Mhanna, who opened the festival,  said in a statement to Syriatimes that “this festival coincidences with the country's celebrations marking the 72nd foundation anniversary of the Baath Arab Socialist Party. We are very happy to share these children the pleasure over displaying their works in the exhibition”.

"We are here thanks to the Syrian Arab Army’s sacrifices," said Mr. Mhanna, stressing that the army's military achievements have been reflected on all fields, including the social and culture ones.

Syriatimes also interviewed some of the children participating in the plastic art exhibition.

Marcel Al-Jerdi, 11, said “painting expresses our feelings.  I love painting very much, I feel happy and free when I draw”.

“My painting depicts my family enjoying nice time in nature. I choose nature topics to draw because I consider that nature gives us positive energy” he added.

Another participant Naram Mahmood, 10, said that he has joined the association for four years, stressing “I draw my dream” artistic association plays a key role in supporting the children’s talents and skills.

"As I love legends very much, my panel showcased a woman with snakes getting out of her head , which is originally a Romanian legend” the child said.

 Shahed Hassan, 13, pointed out that she is very interested in photography and her participation in the exhibition included a photo depicting the sea, the land, the sky and the sun.

She valued highly the effective role of “ I draw my dream” in enhancing her self-confidence  and supporting her psychologically after her father was martyred.

The event is to conclude on Thursday.

It is worth mentioning that “I draw my dream" artistic association was established in 2010 with the approval of Labor and Social Affairs Ministry. It aims at spreading artistic awareness, developing children’s artistic talents through holding educational artistic courses in the field of plastic art, linking art to life as well as reactivating voluntary work among youths.

Interviewed by : Rawaa Ghanam